“We don’t want to see sanctions. It will affect us. It will affect the region,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters on Wednesday.
“We still think there is a possibility of a diplomatic solution,” he added, signifying that the US is likely to fail in winning Turkey’s vote at the Security Council for more sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.
In addition to Turkey, China, Brazil and Lebanon have stressed the need for additional diplomacy, according to a report in the Thursday edition of the Washington Post. China is a veto-wielding member of the Security Council and the other three states hold non-permanent seats on the 15-member body.
Davutoglu’s comments suggest that the Obama administration will have difficulty meeting its goal of new sanctions by the end of this month if it seeks unified opposition to Iran’s program.
Relations with Tehran are important for Ankara, because Iran is a major exporter of natural gas and an important influence in unstable countries bordering Turkey, particularly Iraq.
According to the report, Turkey also opposes sanctions because similar measures adversely affected the Iraqi economy and Turkish-Iraqi trade in the 1990s, while failing to achieve Washington’s declared goal of deposing the dictator, Saddam Hussein.